Monday, 4 April 2016

Radio NZ : Low Interview

Lovely interview with Alan and Mim of Low while on their current tour down under. Listen here.

In case you need reminding how awesome they are, here's the opening track 'Gentle' off their latest album 'Ones and Sixes'.

Friday, 1 April 2016

Nina's 'Stars' at Montreux Festival 1976

This performance of 'Stars' at the Montreux Festival in 1976 is simply stunning. Possibly one of the best performances out there on record. Who could fail to look into Nina's eyes and not feel something. Nina was feeling too much. Listen to that perfect pitch at the beginning where she begins to sing before the first notes from the piano. A genius command of sound. I'm so glad someone filmed this because I feel like I was there (with out the feelings of nervousness for potentially being told off for standing up). These were a great few moments in time.



What a genius Nina Simone was. This song speaks for itself. Mississippi Goddam. Mississippi Goddam. Wish I could add something here but I am rediscovering Nina and am a bit stunned by how good she was. Isn't music great.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Unknown Mortal Orchestra - 'Multi-Love'

The video gives me a headache but the song doesn't. This is a band that should be playing End Of The Road festival this year.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra

Monday, 24 March 2014

It's Time To Be More Like John Evans (Welsh Explorer)

If I'm honest, I'd never heard of John Evans before today yet now I want to know all about him thanks to the latest offering from Gruff Rhys called 'American Interior'. I say offering because this is not just an album, it is also a film, book and app, a sort of multi media story telling exploration and very cool investigative cultural mystical musical extravaganza. Blah!

So the story goes: "In 1792, John Evans, a twenty-two-year-old farmhand from Snowdonia, Wales, travelled to America to discover whether there was, as widely believed, a Welsh-speaking Native American tribe - The Madogwys - still walking the Great Plains. During the course of an extraordinary adventure, Evans wrestled the largest river reptiles ever seen in the Mississippi, hunted Bison with the Omaha tribe, defected to the Spanish in St Louis, discovered imaginary volcanoes in Missouri, annexed North Dakota from the British, and created the map that guided Lewis and Clark on their legendary expedition.

In the summer of 2012, over two hundred years later, Gruff – himself a distant relative of Evans - retraced the explorer's route through the heart of the continent by means of an "Investigative Concert Tour " - a series of solo gigs that saw him accompanied by little more than acoustic guitar, PowerPoint presentation and a three-foot high felt avatar of John Evans designed by artist and long-time collaborator Pete Fowler."  - -Needless to say, I'm very excited about this album. I'd have loved to have been there for one of these concerts. And what an amazing trip, maybe an idea for a future Chalky Travels/Twinkie Towers road trip? I'll have to work on Papa Travels.

The album is released on May 5th, the app sometime in May, the book in late May and the film (shown at SXSW already) is due for release on May 9th. Here's the trailer:

Gruff is also taking up residency at the Soho theatre in London to mark the release of his latest work. I've just looked and it's sold out already. Booo! I have to ask myself, would not having a ticket have stopped John Evans getting in? I don't think so. It's time to be more like John Evans.

Here's the title track from the new album, 'American Interior':

[Source: MattStayLoose]

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Bonnie 'Prince' Billy UK Tour?

When I first moved to Oxford I missed Bonnie 'Prince' Billy and Trembling Bells play on my doorstep by a month. Every time I hear a Bonnie 'Prince' Billy song I am reminded of this fact. I contacted his record company the other day to ask if he has any plans to come back to the UK, sadly the response was "there are no UK tour plans at the moment" - I'll hang on to the "at the moment" comment.

Here's a recording of the May 2012 concert at the then called 'Bullingdon', now the slightly better but not very inspiringly named 'Art Bar' in Oxford. The Bonnie Bells of Oxford features Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – aka Will Oldham – on vocals, melodica and kazoo, and the Trembling Bells group: Lavinia Blackwell (vocals, keyboard, guitar), Mike Hastings (guitar, vocals), Alex Neilson (drums, vocals) and Simon Shaw (bass, vocals). The live album is available to stream online for free, or can be purchased as a download for £7. You can't beat a bit of kazoo now can you? Please come back Bonnie 'Prince' Billy!

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Metronomy on tour

Oh my goodness! How did I miss that Metronomy are going to be playing the Oxford O2 in March? Amazingly there are still tickets available here. Do yourself a favour and get a couple, this band is one of the most consistently good bands to come out of the UK in a while, great live as well. They've sold out two nights back to back at The Old Market Brighton (but to be fair that might just be my friend Pete who loves them), and one night at the Brixton Academy so far on this tour.

Here's I'm Aquarious, I'm Aquarius, I'm Aquarius, I'm Aquarius, I'm Aquarius, I'm Aquarius... here

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

R.I.P. Pete Seeger (May 3rd 1919 - January 27th 2014)

I've always been aware of Pete Seeger, primarily through his recording of 'Little Boxes' and also after reading a book about Dylan. A couple of years ago I watched a documentary about Pete Seeger's life called 'Power of Song' which left quite an impression not only because he had led such a fascinating life, but also because he seemed such a wholesome man with a caring attitude. His daughter said he was chopping up wood 10 days ago, I like that thought. He passed at 94 of natural causes, what a lucky man. Your music goes on. Rest in peace Pete Seeger, we'll do our best to look after the world.

The BBC has some nice collection of photos of Pete here.

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